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Making connections, growing relationships in Iowa’s ecosystem

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Billi Hunt

America's Cultivation Corridor

Leadership insights from Billi Hunt, Executive Director of America’s Cultivation Corridor 

One of the key factors in Iowa’s agricultural leadership is the state’s fertile soils. But even in ideal soils, a successful harvest requires quality seeds, the right combination of nutrients and water, and management throughout the growing season. The same can be said for building and growing relationships in our ag and biosciences ecosystem.

Iowa is the epicenter of global agricultural production and research, with industry-leading farmers, researchers and companies of all sizes. However, building new relationships and business connections requires that same level of care and focus. At America’s Cultivation Corridor, our Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program® is the perfect example of investing time and resources that ultimately yield success. 

We’ve already seen it in 2024 with in-person visits to Iowa from our Cultivo Virtual Academy graduates (yes, in January, no less!) to follow up with researchers, business leaders and potential partners that they connected with in their Cultivo cohort. As one graduate noted, the small size and personal focus of Cultivo cohorts allows individual connections that aren’t possible in most other programs. 

These personal connections are only possible thanks to the “rising tide lifts all boats” attitude of Iowa’s agricultural ecosystem. We are always reaching out to Iowa’s startup, research, industry and farmer leaders to share their stories, give tours or meet with founders. I am constantly amazed at how often the answer is “yes” and the value that their collaboration brings to our state and the advancement of innovative ideas around the world.  

In this new year, I am excited to continue the partnerships and collaborations that are moving the best ideas for the future of sustainable agriculture forward. There is no better place to be than Iowa for new ideas to be developed, tested and commercialized to improve productivity, efficiency, quality and sustainability of agriculture.   

As you make plans for 2024, please reach out to schedule meetings, tours or learn more about the opportunities in Iowa. Whether it is an individual visit or attending world class events like World Pork Expo, Farm Progress Show, World Food Prize and more, we look forward to connecting. The world comes here, and so should you.  

Published January 2024. 

 

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